Regarding the horrible situation of human rights in Iran in 2020, the Iran Human Rights Monitor Iran-HRM.com provided a comprehensive report. In this respect, human rights activists provided valuable details about the government’s ill-treatment against prisoners, particularly political activists, prisoners of conscience, and followers of ethnic and religious minorities.
As is common under the government, Iranian prisoners were subjected to harassment, psychological and physical torture, denial of medical treatment, and executions in breach of international law.
No Separation for Political Prisoners
Prisoners of conscience were constantly placed on wards with violent offenders, which is a violation of the Principle of the Separation of Categories of Crimes, in order to exert pressure on them.
This happened in prisons across the country, but the main offenders were listed as the Central Prison of Karaj, Sepidar Prison of Ahvaz, Qarchak Prison in Varamin, and the Great Tehran Penitentiary.
Several times this resulted in the assault or threatening of political prisoners by ordinary criminals, sometimes encouraged by the authorities.
For example, in September, Parastoo Mo’ini and Forough Taghipour were attacked by inmates on the orders of the Qarchak Prison warden, while in July, Jafar Azimzadeh was attacked twice in one day by two inmates whom he didn’t know, and Behnam Mousivand and Behnam Mahjoubi were attacked in Evin prison.
Solitary Confinement, Officials’ Means for Pressuring Inmates
Authorities have again used lengthy solitary confinement to exert pressure on prisoners, especially to break hunger strikes. This was used against numerous detainees from the November 2019 protests, who were also denied medical treatment for injuries relating to torture.
It was also used against protester Navid Afkari and his brothers, arrested during August 2018, political prisoner Arjang Davoudi, 67, who has suffered severe beatings, and students Ali Younesi and Amir Hossein Moradi, arrested in April.
Authorities Torture Prisoners by Medical Treatment Denial
It’s a common abuse of their rights to deny medical care to sick or wounded prisoners., but the government has ramped up this torture against prisoners during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some key examples of political prisoners abused in this way include:
- Saber Rezaei
- Changiz Ghadam Khairi
- Mohammad Reza Saifzadeh Pezeshkan
- Saeed Eghbali
Fabricated Cases Against Inmates
Authorities have brought fabricated cases against several political prisoners, including Soheil Arabi, Niloufar Bayani, Nejat Anvar Hamidi, Majid Assadi, Mohammad Bannazadeh Amirkhizi, and Payam Shakiba, to intimidate them.
Attacks Against Defenseless Prisoners
Iranian authorities openly attacked prisoners on multiple occasions last year, most often during the protests over wanting release during the pandemic to reduce fatalities.
There is also a systematic effort to get prisoners addicted to drugs, which further intimidates them and makes them more vulnerable.